Toxic Environment For Discourse

Posted: December 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

Wrote this back in 2010, but I think it is as applicable as ever today. I would add that I think I can add politicians as a group contributing to the toxic environment with their rhetoric. And along with political ideologies, I think I would add religious differences as causing bad friction. Finally, social media is just terrible for political discussion (if you could even call what happens there “discussion”).

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First, it is important to note that news media, particularly television news media, is pretty much in the business of entertainment.  The idealistic purpose for news media would be to provide information.  But really they just want eyeballs on their station or their newspaper or magazine.  So there is a natural tendency for media to focus on the sensational.  So that means that what sometimes may appear to be going on the world through the lens of the media may not be that realistic view of what really is going on in the world.

That said, while it is probably not as bad as it seems, there is not an insignificant amount of bad mojo out there when it comes to discussing today’s issues.  Things are getting too emotional.  Opinions are being shaped by hyperbole.  A lot of people have an us-against-them mentality, and the assumption is that people with…

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